1.2 WordPress Basics: Switching to a Self-Hosted Site
In this lesson, I’ll start off with an overview of the differences between WordPress.com and a self-hosted site. Then I’ll show you how to move your site to a self-hosted WordPress installation. Along the way, I’ll give you some tips on choosing hosting, installing WordPress, and migrating your content.
1.WordPress Basics: Switching to a Self-Hosted Site2 lessons, 12:28
1.2 WordPress Basics: Switching to a Self-Hosted Site
[SOUND] Hello and welcome to this Tuts plus coffee break course on switching from WordPress.com to self hosted WordPress. WordPress.com and self hosted WordPress have lots of similarities but this one main difference. With WordPress.com, your site Is hosted by WordPress. You don't have to buy your own hosting or your own server space, which makes it really easy to set up. However, there are some downsides. If you want to install some extra themes or plugins, you have to pay. And if you want to map your own domain,you also have to pay extra. So hosted WordPress on the other hand uses essentially the same software it's still WordPress, but you hosted on your own server. So you have to buy some service space or rent some service space from a hosting provider and then set it up on that. Now the advantage of this is it gives you much more flexibility. So if you want to develop your own fame or have somebody develop a theme for you, you'll need to use self hosted WordPress. The same goes for if you're developing your own plugins and you'll also find that with a cell hosted WordPress site, there's a lot more choice when it comes to third party things so plugins, both free and paid for. And if you want to get your code from someone like involved so you'll have to have a self hosted WordPress site not a WordPress.com site. So, let's say you've been running a WordPress.com blog for a few years now. Or maybe just a few days. And you've decided that you want to switch to a self hosted WordPress site. How do you go about doing it? That's what you're going to learn in this coffee break course. And what I'm going to do is show you how to set up your new self hosted site and how to transfer all your content across. So here's the admin screens for wordpress.com that you'll be familiar with. I will be coming back to this when we need to export our content a bit later on. So the first thing you'll need to do is find a hosting provider because you'll need to buy some service space, and there are a few places that you can find recommendations. Here on the WordPress Codex, their recommendations for WordPress web posting. And then here on the Ervato website, we have web posting partners that I recommended as well. And hey you can get special deals with those hosting providers. The other way to find out about good hosting providers Is by asking around. Personally, I chose my hosting provider through word of mouth and I got a recommendation from somebody I trust. Now the next step once you've got your hosting set up, is to install WordPress on your new server. And there are two ways to do that, you can either do it manually using the famous five minutes to or you can do it automatically using it so that your hosting provider will give you. So for example my hosting provider site five has this interface hand that you can use to install WordPress and other hosting providers have things like soft Oculus or Fantastico that you can also use. Now what you might find in some hosting providers is that when they install WordPress, they install a slightly different version of it from the standard installation. And then they might add some of their own software with some of their own tweaks all they might take some things out. However if your hosting provider is a reputable and high quality provider, they shouldn't do this. If you want to avoid any chance of this, the other alternative is to download WordPress and install it manually. So you can download it for free from the WordPress.org website and then you need to upload it to your server. I'm not going to show you have to do that in detail here. But what you'll find, is this tuts plus tutorial that shows you how to install WordPress manually. And it doesn't take long to tell. So once you've got WordPress installed, you'll have something like this. Right now the default fame is 2016. So my new site has been set up with the twenty six same day and also we've some dummy content and his the dashboard for my website. Now if you've been using wordpress.com for a while, this will look familiar to you. Because this is what WordPress to come stuff used to look like. But if you haven't it will be new to you but you'll find that the structure is essentially very similar. So the first thing you need to do is import your content from your old site to a new one. And you might be thinking you need to copy and paste content and create new posts and pages in your new site. And the good news is you don't have to do anything right about. You can export content from your wordpress.com site and then import it into your self hosted site. So let's go back to the dashboard for our wordpress.com site. So to exploit your content, you will need to click on this WP Admin Link down here in the menu. And that takes you to a screen that looks very much like that self hosted website or like the old wordpress.com interface. And here you select Tools and then export. Now you get two options here. One of them costs you a little bit of money and the other one is free. I'm gonna show you how to do the free one because it's incredibly easy. So we simply click on Start Export, and then what you do is choose what content you want to export. Now, in my case, I want to export everything, so I'll just click on Download Export File. That downloads a file to my system that I'll then need to upload to my new site. So let's switch to that new site. And here's the dashboard for that new site. So here we click on Tools and then Import. Now WordPress gives you quite a few options for importing content. So if you had a blog hosted by another service, you can also import content from that. But here we're using WordPress. So the first thing I need to do is install the plug-in that enables that import. So click on Install Now and then once that's installed, you then click the Run Importer link. Now you're given the option to choose the file that you want to import. So I'll go to my Downloads folder and find an XML file here. And that's the file that's been exported by wordpress.com. It will always be an XML file and at the end of it, it will have the date where you did the export. So that's today's date. So I click on choose. And then I click on upload file and import. It then takes you to a screen where you can assign authors. So you can either import the authors from your old site, which is a good idea if you have more than one author or you can just assign all of your posts to yourself as the author in your new site. So I'm going to do that. And then you get to choose whether you can download an import file attachments. So that's all your images and media PDF files, and anything like that. This makes things much, much easier if you do that. So make sure that's checked and then click the submit button so WordPress import your content. And then lets you know that it's done it so let's take a look in pages. We have an About page and a contact page which are the same as in my old site and there's also the Sample page. That's a dummy page added by WordPress when you start up so I'm going to trash that. And then my posts, it's imported three posts from my WordPress.com site. It's latest projects, Welcome to my blog and First blog post which was a dummy post in WordPress.com. There's also this, Hello world post which is the dummy post in a self hosted site. So I'm gonna trash that and I'm also gonna trash that first blog post cuz I don't need that. So that's my posts and pages, so let's switch to the live site, refresh the screen and there you can say my blog posts are shown up on the first page. And I've also got some widgets there before I start editing the widgets and menus, I'm going to sort out the same. Because obviously this site is running a different theme from my original site. So let's go back to my old site click on themes s and the fame I'm using there is one called Pen scratch. Now, let's see if that's available at self hosted site. So we get back to the admin screens for the self hosted site. And then you click on the appearance menu here and then Fames now on a self hosted site you don't get as many themes to choose from. To start with but it's really easy to add new ones you just click on this add new button up here and that gives you a choice of lots of themes that you can use. Now the theme that we were using this won't penscrutch. So let's just say if that's available and it is. So let's install that. And then we can be active a link to activate it on our site. So if I switch back to the live view and refresh my screen, you'll see that the pence crutch thing has been activated. So now let's compare the two sites to see what else we need to change. So I'm going to close down some of the other windows that I've opened. And now I've got my old site open on my new site in another tab. So first let's compare the menus. My menu has got my static pages and it's also got my categories. So let's edit the menu, and the easiest way to edit the menu in a self edit site is by using the customizer. Which you might be familiar with from Wordpress.com. So here let's click on the menus item in the side bar and the menu that I want to edit is the primary menu. So here I've got home, about and I've got a category with no label which it's tried to import. Let's just delete that and start again. So I click on Add Items and then Categories and Personal. And I'll move us up. And also make sure that's in the right place. We'll let's just compare that to our old site. So should be personal and then work. And then save and published up. Now that's not working, and that's for the simple reason that I haven't checked primary menu down here. And you need to tell WordPress which location in your fame your menu will be going in. So now I've done that, you can see that it works just fine. So I'll click on save and publish, close the Customize up and there's my life site with my menu in place. Now the final thing to do is make sure my widgets are consistent with my old site. So let's take a look at the old site. Here we've got a recent posts widget, recent comments, archives, and categories. So let's replicate that in the new site and again I'll use the customizer. So I select widgets up here on the left hand side and then sidebar because that's where my widgets are. Search there wasn't a search widget in my old site. Yes there was I missed that. So keep out that recent posts, that's the same recent comments, archives, and categories. And then this mess a widget is added by default and a self hosted WordPress site. And that gives you the links you need to sign in amongst other things. I don't like this message it because I think it makes the site look a bit unprofessional. So I'm gonna remove it I'm gonna click on Safe and Publish. Close the customizer, to go back to my live site and you can say it looks exactly the same as my old wordpress.com site. If I switch between the two you wouldn't even know the difference. So, that's how you move a webpress.com site to a new hosted WordPress site. I hope you found this course useful and wish you good luck with your new self-hosted WordPress site. Thanks for watching!